During my visit to Chiayi county, I stopped by three distinct areas: Fenqihu, Xiding, and Alishan. They were all great places to experience the local countryside life, especially during the summer as the temperature cooled with the increasing elevation.

Fenqihu was previously known as a logging town, but has gained popularity with tourists for its natural rock formations, bamboo forests, and general hiking. I was particularly enamored by the bamboo forests here. They were similar to the groves from Arashiyama, but more raw and untouched, with almost no tourists. I practically had the entire hike to myself.

I stayed the night in Xiding, a small town known for its beautiful mountain sunsets and local tea farms -- they grow some of Taiwan's best high mountain Oolong tea. I spent the night at an Airbnb, owned by an old couple who had guests and friends over, chatting over several cups of tea. We all made and ate Aiyu jelly from scratch, and had a fun time all around. People make the world go round.

Of the places I visited, Alishan National Scenic Area is the most popular among tourists. With manicured wooden steps through the forest and trains moving between landmarks, its an easy hike for almost every visitor. One of my fondest memories of the area was, surprisinly, not the trees or sights, but of the juicy, delicious Taiwanese sausage I had from one of the temple vendors. With fresh cut garlic and locally grown wasabi, it was heaven. Maybe I was starving...

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Asia
Subcategory Detail:Taiwan
Keywords:alishan, bamboo, fenqihu, forest, green, mountain, photography, railway, scenic, tourism, travel, wildlife, woods, xiding, 台湾, 奮起湖, 阿里山